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Interview: The Macho Fan

25 questions with an iconic Cleveland Browns symbol  

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions 10-13-2013 Photo by David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images

First, there was Brownie Elf, now called Brownie the Elf. Which is odd because he is a “Brownie” and not an “Elf.”

But for fans of the Cleveland Browns, that has been the mainstay of what symbolizes their beloved franchise.

Next, was the invention of the “Dawg Pound.” That in itself took on another life in that it was first conceived to get the defensive line more in-tune to getting to the quarterback. Fans quickly took this one as their own and soon the center field bleachers at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium became the breeding ground of “The Dawg Pound” which made life horrible for opposing offenses getting closer to this end zone.

With the Dawg Pound came characters of their own such as “Swagger” who was the first live dog to represent the club on the field plus public appearances beginning in 2014. He passed away in 2020 at the age of six and was a 145-pound bullmastiff breed. He was replaced by his son “SJ.”

The Browns also have two costumed characters: “Chomps” and “Brownie.” Having a dog as a logo is actually a common occurrence with the sport of football. Teams such as the University of Georgia (Uga) and New Orleans Saints (Gumbo) are perfect examples. Chomps is a Labrador which debuted in 2008 wearing a helmet with his ears poking through the ear holes. The costumed Brownie logo began as the 2018 training camp logo.

But there are other Browns’ characters that represent fandom.

Who hasn’t seen “The Pumpkin Head” or “The Macho Fan” or “Browns Spiderman” at a home game?

The Macho Fan is one of the most iconic and recognizable fandom characters. At this year’s NFL draft held in Cleveland, he was approached about being onstage as the club’s fan representation to sit in the commissioner’s chair and be the first to learn who Cleveland would be drafting in the second-round. The Macho Fan did not sit for very long. And in fact, he not only took over the stage, he was the talk of the draft.

To book The Macho Fan for school functions, corporate events, business affairs or charitable causes, use the following link to contact him. He isn’t looking to make a buck, but has various charities he has an interest in passing along his personal fees to.

THE MACHO FAN FACEBOOK PAGE LINK – CLICK HERE

His twitter is: @MachoFan.

Recently, Canton Clothing Company teamed up with Cleveland’s favorite super fan, The Macho Fan, and a portion of the sales from a specially-designed T-shirt was donated to “Wishes Can Happen”, a local organization that grants wishes to terminally ill kids in Northeast Ohio. So far, they have helped raise over $800. To purchase one of these shirts and help a good cause, click the following link:

THE CANTON CLOTHING COMPANY THE MACHO FAN T-SHIRT

DBN caught up with The Macho Fan to find out if the sport of wrestling is in his blood, if the Browns eight championship titles mean anything since none are actual Super Bowls, and what he and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talked about while onstage.


DBN: Where were you raised, and was it a supernatural occurrence where angels clad in brown and orange paraded about while some bright light came beaming down?

The Macho Fan: Some say The Macho Fan was born from the agony of aggravated Browns fans. That he rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of losing seasons into the sky above FirstEnergy only to rain HELL FIRE and flying elbows down upon our AFC North enemies, yeah!

Then there are those, like my mother, who say I was born and bred in the blue collar town of Youngstown, Ohio. I’ll let the public decide, yeah.

NFL: SEP 08 Titans at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

DBN: When was the moment that you realized that you were a Cleveland Browns fan forever?

The Macho Fan: Right around 1994-95 when the NFL stripped Cleveland of our most beloved team. Browns fans didn’t just sit around moping about it like other cities would have done - no! We SURGED like the angry waves off Lake Erie and DEMANDED our team, name, colors and history be returned to their rightful place. It was that moment I realized the full power and tenacity of the Browns’ fan universe and something I knew I’d be a part of forever, yeah!

DBN: Did you play any sports in high school, and if so, which?

The Macho Fan: Ya know DBN, I played wideout in high school and did pretty well. Pretty well, yeah. Basketball was a little different story and uh, let’s just say the refs didn’t take too kindly to my…. physicality. Apparently, arm drag take downs and eye rakes are frowned upon, yeah!

DBN: Growing up, who was your favorite player, and why?

The Macho Fan: Joe Jurevicius. I followed the “Vicious One” from his days at Lake Catholic all they way to when he returned home to play for the best team in the land - the Cleveland Browns. The prodigal son returns, yeah!

DBN: Are you a Browns season ticket holder, and how many road games have you gone to?

The Macho Fan: I’m a proud season ticket holder and never miss a game! I’ve only taken The Macho Fan show on the road a handful of times but the plan is to hit at least a few road games this year. Dig it!

DBN: Here at DawgsByNature we found a video of you from a home game in 2012 against the Steelers. What was your inspiration, how did you get started, and how did it progress to become grander and grander?

The Macho Fan: I was always a huge fan of wrestling, particularly the Golden Era with the likes of Hogan, Slaughter, Flair, etc. One year I made a homemade Macho outfit out of spare parts and spray paint for a Halloween party. It was such a hit with my buddies, I decided to make a few Cleveland Browns tweaks and wear it to a home game a week later. It got a lotta high-fives and laughs and there was an instant connection with the fans, yeah.

With the help of my talented brother-in-law, we decided to design a full blown wrestling outfit from scratch, had a professional Cleveland Browns Championship belt forged, customized a leather jacket, boots, and hat… and really took it to the next level. And that brings us to the version you see today - but our work is never done. Bigger and better things coming your way in 2021, yeah!

DBN: There has to be some odd situations you have gotten into. Talk about a few.

The Macho Fan: Oh, yeah! Most fans see The Macho Fan and just want a high-five or a photograph. But every once in a while, DBN, a rival team will have an imposter Macho or other WWE character emerge from the shadows of the Muni lot to challenge yours truly to a wrestling match. Right there in the street, no holds barred! But once they get a taste of the Madness, they soon realize they made a big, big mistake. Yeah! The Macho Fan rides on the edge of a lightning bolt and NOTHING can stop the Madness! No sir, no way! DIG IT!

DBN: Otto Graham, Brian Sipe, Bernie Kosar or Baker Mayfield - and why?

The Macho Fan: Cleveland has been fortunate to have some legendary QBs, and since Bernie is from my hometown - we have an automatic connection. But I really like this Mayfield kid. He’s young, brash, unapologetic, and full of talent… kinda like Macho Man back in the day. SKIES THE LIMIT with this one, yeah!

DBN: “The Macho Fan” is all about charitable efforts. What are some of the events you have participated in, and are there some events in the works?

The Macho Fan: The “Golden String Fund” and “Wishes Can Happen” are two more recent charities I’ve happily been tied to. If there’s a good cause you’d like help with, please don’t hesitate to get ahold of me through social media. The Macho Fan is ALWAYS DOWN to help lift people UP, yeah!

DBN: There is a rumor that your outlandish outfits were actually stolen from the estate of motorcycle stunt driver Evel Knievel and then you had them re-done. Okay, we started that rumor. How do you get your ideas for the attire you wear?

The Macho Fan: Don’t be spreading false rumors, DawgsByNature! (finger point and long pause….)

Now as far as this costume…. this costume was not stolen. This costume was left upon my doorstep by a higher power. And I’m NOT talking Vince McMahon, if you catch my drift! And if the Big Man wants me to put on these spandex and entertain the crowd at FirstEnergy Stadium, then who am I to disagree?! And that’s exactly what I do! No questions, yeah!

DBN: You have your own logo. The Browns helmet doesn’t have a logo. Are those two a match?

The Macho Fan: Not a bad idea, not a bad idea. But you know, DBN, I would prefer the Browns stay with the tradition of simplicity. The striped helmet is iconic. Unique - not by what it has but by what it doesn’t - if you know what I mean. Now maybe we could spice up 50-yard line graphics with a little The Macho Fan logo, oooooooooh yeah!!!

DBN: Randy Savage “The Macho Man” had his own action figure. Is an action figure of “The Macho Fan” going to be available soon?

The Macho Fan: The Madness cannot be miniaturized. Next question, DBN!

DBN: If you could invite one current Browns players over to eat dinner, who would that be, what would you cook, and what should he bring?

The Macho Fan: Myles Garrett, and the only thing he needs to bring is himself. I’ll grill him up a couple 32 oz. tomahawk bone-in ribeye’s… as an appetizer! That is one big boy, yeah. Maybe Myles could serve up a little “Dino Trivia” for dessert - Macho loves the trivia, yeah!

DBN: What are some of your notable memories of the old Municipal Stadium and how is the new stadium better?

The Macho Fan: Never had the pleasure of sitting behind a pole to watch the boys play on the frozen infield or use the legendary troths, but I wish I had. Gotta give big props to the Haslam’s for really investing in the current stadium and upgrading the fan experience. It’s been a great place to call home.

DBN: If you could become the General Manager of the Browns for one day and whatever you dictated became reality, what changes would you make?

The Macho Fan: First off, I would have a Slim Jim station installed in the cafeteria. The current regime really dropped the ball with that glaring omission. Next, I would require all rookies to wear glittered cowboy hats and fringed spandex during practice… to build up camaraderie. Finally, I would install a mini Jumbotron and ramp leading down to midfield with theme music and fireworks to spice up the game day player introductions!

The Macho Fan sunglasses night, perhaps…. I got a million ideas, DBN… a MILLION, yeah!

DBN: You were part of this year’s NFL draft located in Cleveland. You were brought up onstage to sit in the commissioner’s own chair right before the Browns’ pick in Round 2. Was it comfortable, did it smell like “old man” and how did you end up onstage?

The Macho Fan: Comfortable? No. Smell like old man? Maybe.

But it was an honor to be up there. It all happened pretty randomly. A buddy got sick, offered up his draft day ticket. As I was walking into the event, I got pulled aside and asked to go sit near the main stage with other lucky fans who paid big bucks for those premium seats. When the Browns traded-up and the pick was in, someone grabbed me and took me right up on stage to the big chair! As soon as I hit the stage you could feel a roar of energy from the hometown crowd and that REALLY got me going. They kept telling me to sit down but I couldn’t cause I was so amped up! The madness kinda took over and I just went along for the ride! The energy from the crowd was unbelievable and a lot of fun to feed off. Our fans truly are the cream of the crop, yeah!

DBN: What did the commish say to you when he approached the podium with the Browns’ pick?

The Macho Fan: He asked, “Are you ready for the pick?” So I replied, “Are you ready to MAKE the pick? Then GET UP THERE AND MAKE IT!” and gave him a friendly pat on the back to make sure he was headed in the right direction. Time is of the essence, Commish! Let’s go already!!

DBN: That moment with you onstage is still being talked about and was such an iconic draft moment being in Cleveland. Did that elevate yourself into another level of fandom?

The Macho Fan: Who knows. I don’t pay much attention to that kind of stuff. All that matters to Macho is supporting the Browns and if I can bring some smiles to the faces of our die-hard fanbase in the process, then all the better. The 2021 NFL Draft will always be a special memory for The Macho Fan, yeah.

DBN: Many people have asked this including Lee Shellko President of the Honolulu Browns Backers chapter. Nobody knows for certain: Is the COVID mask “face” you wore at the draft yours or that of Randy Macho Man Savage?

The Macho Fan: The mask has the face of the legendary Randy “The Macho Man” Savage on it. Masks were required for admission to Browns games in 2020 so we had to get little creative with it. Hopefully those days are behind us, yeah.

DBN: You adorn a championship belt. Was that won beating the crap outta a Steelers fan?

The Macho Fan: A Pittsburgh fan couldn’t muster the strength it takes to raise that gold belt! That Championship belt serves as a great reminder to all rival fans who may have forgotten that the Cleveland Browns have won eight championships and DOMINATED the league for decades. They were the TOP OF THE LINE, yeah! Something we’re about to do again, DawgsByNature! The Browns winning history is unparalleled and I have NO PROBLEM schooling the uneducated when necessary. Gotta be BOLD to wear the GOLD, yeah!

DBN: Superfan “Pumpkin Head” is another iconic Browns representation. If the two of you got into a ring, who would win?

The Macho Fan: Pumpkin Head, comparatively speaking, is like a grain of sand in the Sahara desert… and The Macho Fan IS THE ENTIRE DESERT!!! Never-ending Madness, yeah. Don’t bet against me, DBN. DO NOT bet against me!

DBN: Head coach Kevin Stefanski was named Coach-of-the-Year last year and GM Andrew is killing it. What are your thoughts about last season?

The Macho Fan: Talking about history, talking about history… 2020 was a real tough season with all the obstacles facing the team. New GM, new coach, new strategies, new players, COVID, injuries… the odds were stacked against the Browns and yet they found a way. They were without a doubt the most talented team in the AFC North last year and only improving! I’m proud of last season, yeah, I’m PROUD!

DBN: The Browns are being discussed in the terms of Super Bowl. Does this jinx the upcoming season, or is the saying “Same ole Browns” no longer valid?

The Macho Fan: Same old Browns, same old Browns. We ARE the same old Browns, but not in terms of what that twinkle toes wideout from Pittsburgh thinks! We’re the same old Browns who won eight World Championships, yeah! Led by the greatest coach in NFL history, Paul Brown, yeah! The same old Browns who stomped mud holes in the competition year-after-year after-year with the likes of Jim Brown, Marion Motley, Otto Graham and countless other Hall of Fame players who paved Cleveland’s streets with Gold! Championship GOLD, yeah! We’re the same old Browns alright - and these same old Browns got a date with destiny in 2021, ohhhhhh yeah! DIG IT!!!

8x World Champs jacket

DBN: The Browns have won eight pro football championships. Most folks think if you don’t win a Super Bowl then they haven’t won anything. You have a jacket that on the back it states: “8 World Championships.” Your thoughts?

The Macho Fan: Our name is in the history books as 4x AAFC Champions and 4x NFL Champions, yeah! I’d like to see these little naysayers tell the likes of Bill Willis or Leroy Kelly or Jim Brown or Otto Graham their championships didn’t count just because some of them weren’t alive to see them. I’ll bet they wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss our titles then, would they, yeah! The fact of the matter is the Browns ARE 8x World Champions and soon to be 9x World Champions and there’s nothing they can do about it!!!

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions 10-13-2013 Photo by David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images

DBN: What is your fondest moment of representing the Cleveland Browns?

The Macho Fan: So many to choose from but I would have to say the interaction with the kids. Taking pictures and seeing them smile and laugh is about as great a feeling a human being can have, yeah. I take great pride in helping getting fans up out their seats and cheering on the best team in all of sports - the Cleveland Browns, yeah. There’s nothing sweeter than the sound of celebration at FirstEnergy Stadium, yeah!